It was a beautiful February day in southeastern Colorado, and I was out partaking in one of my favorite activities – shooting my 70-pound bows. I had just finished a shoulder lifting session at the gym and was starting to get a bit sore. I fought through the pain and fired a couple more arrows, but on what was to be my last shot, I felt a slight pop in the back of my shoulder followed by shooting pain.

I was nervous. I had never sustained a shoulder injury before, but my fatigue created poor shooting form and it happened. I took a few days off, but habits are hard to break. After just two days I tried to jerk back my 70-pound bow. It wasn’t going to happen. Disgusted, I used my Allen wrench to adjust the 70-pound Hoyt down to 60 pounds, but I still wasn’t able to get the bow back. What was I going to do? I had a Texas bowhunt coming up in less than a month, and several turkey hunts loomed on the horizon as well.

I decided to give the shoulder two solid weeks of rest. I saw my doctor and iced it down regularly. As the days passed the pain in my shoulder started to subside, and I took my 50-pound Bowtech Carbon Ion and 50-pound Elite Synergy and put them to work. I was blown away. Not only was I able to pull both bows back with ease, but I was shocked with the amount of kinetic energy I was generating.

Sure, I will pull 70 pounds again, but while the tendonitis in my shoulder heals, I will stick to pulling these two 50-pound rigs. They will provide more than enough energy for my Texas hog hunt and will be perfect for turkey. I may even take one of them to Alberta in late May for black bear.

Today’s bows are true engineering marvels. If you sustain a shoulder injury and your doctor clears you to pull lesser poundage, do it. Don’t get hung up on losing speed and energy. You will get back to pulling your maximum weight, but in the meantime you can maintain your form and daily practice routines while your shoulder heals.